Happy New Year! 2020 has really been the year that puts every business’ resilience to the test. With the multiple disruptions and slowdowns caused by the pandemic, businesses should by now realize that things will not instantly go back to normal in 2021. On the contrary, businesses should expect those changes in the market and their customers’ behavior to linger even in the new year. This means it’s no time to be caught off-guard! By being aware of what customers expect from businesses and responding to those expectations accordingly, businesses can have a head-start in maintaining the loyalty of their customer base and encourage them to keep doing repeat business in the long run.
So what do customers expect from you in this pandemic-affected landscape?
- Seamless omni-channel experience
Customers’ screen time has never been higher than it was before the pandemic. Even those who were not that digitally savvy have now slowly adapted to online shopping, video calling, and so on. Not to mention the convenience and safety that online experience offers for customers who are wary about visiting physical stores due to the lurking COVID-19 risk! Thus, providing your customers with a seamless omni-channel experience that integrates both online and offline channels will give you an advantage over your competitors. An excellent omni-channel experience shouldn’t only cover a customer’s buying process, but also a frictionless payment process, delivery, rewards, and after-sales support.
- Personalized and relevant communication
Customers are lured by different brands and offers everyday. They will be seeking brands that truly stand out by staying at the top of their mind. One effective strategy you can do is through personalized and relevant communication! When you reach out to customers personally, such as greeting them by name, or giving offers and rewards that are tailored according to their preferences, they will have a greater sense of belonging to your business. Aside from that, you also need to be relevant—by reaching out to them in the right place, at the right time, using the right channel, whether it’s email, SMS, or push notification.
Of course, none of this can be achieved without data. Start learning who your customers are through an analytics platform that can give you insightful information about them, so that you can cater to their expectations better!
- Interactive brand engagement
Customers expect to be valued by brands which they do business with. Therefore, businesses need to make customers feel that they matter, and the relationship between them is beyond a mere buy-and-sell interaction. Provide a means by which customers can express their feedback and opinion about your business, such as through a survey form. Make it more attractive by providing rewards to customers who fill it out or review your business. Further reward customers who are willing to be your advocates, whether it’s by sharing on social media or referring your business to a friend. With an all-in-one loyalty program, these interactive and fun activities can be gamified to keep customers hooked!
- Transparency and vulnerability
Lastly, customers are more drawn towards businesses that show transparency and vulnerability. Remember when the pandemic started and many businesses took it to social media by sharing their struggles and asking for support from their customers? This involved showing vulnerability, being transparent about the uncertainty, as well as communicating to customers on a human-to-human level. Not only that, it is now a very normal thing for businesses to be honest about what goes on behind the scenes, how they are prioritizing safety and hygiene, and how they are protecting themselves and the customers by providing services with health protocols. This kind of movement exceeds traditional marketing messages that do not really reach customers on a personal level. By continuing this nature in 2021, businesses can further nurture their relationship and trust with customers.
In this ever-changing situation, customers will continue to have higher expectations from businesses in which they decide to interact with. By knowing beforehand what it is that they are looking for, businesses can be better equipped for 2021 and hopefully retain more customers. TADA is also happy to help any business that may be looking for ways to increase their customer retention and sustain themselves better. May this year be brighter for all of us!